23 Feb

The Worst Amongst Us, Bunning, Shelby, McCotter

Bunning: Ginsburg will be dead in nine months

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), already in political trouble for 2010, didn’t help matters any over the weekend.

At a Lincoln Day Dinner speech over the weekend, Bunning predicted that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer in nine months, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The paper reports that Bunning reiterated his support of conservative judges, saying “that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg…has cancer.”

“Bad cancer. The kind you don’t get better from,” Bunning went on. “Even though she was operated on, usually nine months is the longest that anybody would live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”

Richard Shelby, Alabama Senator, Questions Obama’s Citizenship

The Cullman Times reports that Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, in a meeting with constituents, appeared to give some thought to rumors questioning President Obama’s citizenship.

Another local resident asked Shelby if there was any truth to a rumor that appeared during the presidential campaign concerning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, or lack thereof.

“Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate,” Shelby said. “You have to be born in America to be president.”

According to the Associated Press, state officials in Hawaii checked health department records during the campaign and determined there was no doubt Obama was born in Hawaii.

Rep McCotter a ‘No’ Vote on Stimulus in Michigan

By CARL HULSE, February 23, 2009

Full Article

LIVONIA, Mich. — Connie from Livonia was on the line with Representative Thaddeus McCotter during a telephone town-hall-style meeting, sounding worried as the auto industry continued to spiral down, taking Michigan’s economy along for the ride.

Her husband was laid off from American Axle and Manufacturing, one of the many suppliers cutting back because of the rapidly shrinking demand for parts. Her sons who had served in the military could not find work and were ineligible for veterans health care.

Since Mr. McCotter had opposed the economic stimulus program, just what was his plan, she asked, to deal with the increasingly dire situation that she and thousands of other McCotter constituents find themselves in?

Mr. McCotter, a junior member of the House Republican leadership, ticked off some alternatives offered by Republicans and stuck to his position that the $787 billion stimulus package presented an unacceptable trade of minimal near-term benefits for future fiscal disaster.

“It won’t work,” said Mr. McCotter, 43, who worked his way up from local elected office. “If I thought it would work, I would have voted for it.” (The McGlynn: “You have not had a decent thought in years.”)

Now Mr. McCotter — whose suburban district west of Detroit is laced with unemployed autoworkers, shuttered automotive plants and struggling manufacturers — could become a test case of whether House Republicans’ united front against the economic measure was the wise political and policy course.

Democrats are mounting a new campaign to remind voters that Mr. McCotter and 11 other Republicans in competitive districts in harder-hit states opposed the stimulus package, which the president says will provide middle class tax cuts and millions of jobs — 7,800 in Mr. McCotter’s district alone, according to a calculation by the White House.

“Did you know Congressman Thad McCotter voted against President Obama’s economic recovery plan, endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?” says the script of an automated telephone call that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to direct to homes in his district this week. The message will encourage voters to call Mr. McCotter and “ask why he voted to raise taxes on middle-class families.”

In an interview, Mr. McCotter said his constituents understood that the legislation, which increased unemployment benefits and subsidized health insurance for laid-off workers, could not fix the state’s structural economic problems. He said they joined him in suspecting that significant amounts of the money would be wasted. (The McGlynn: “You lie.”)

“The people who really like the stimulus are the elected officials who will handle the money,” said Mr. McCotter………….. ((The McGlynn: “You have no idea what your district believes.”)………………………..

But recent independent polls have shown wide public support for the measure and disapproval of the Republican approach. Some Republicans have begun to emphasize benefits in the bill for their communities even though they voted against it.

In Michigan, Democratic officials say the Republican opposition is difficult to fathom given the deteriorating economic conditions in the state and the $18 billion Michigan stands to receive. The legislation also frees General Motors from billions of dollars in potential tax obligations on a federal loan and provides tax incentives for car buyers, though they are not as extensive as those initially approved by the Senate.

“Since when do Republicans vote against tax cuts?” asked State Representative Andy Dillon, the speaker of the State House, whose district overlaps with Mr. McCotter’s. “They are betting the farm, because if this works, I think people will remember they were not on board.”

Joan Gebhardt, a Wayne County commissioner who represents localities in Mr. McCotter’s district, said her communities “need help fast; people are hurting.”

“There is nothing in there for us in Michigan in automotive,” said Wallace E. Smith, president of the E & E Manufacturing Company, a stamping plant in Plymouth that produces seat fasteners and engine mounts. “We need something immediate.” (The McGlynn: “Do you not consider your employees as part of “us in Michigan in automotive?””)…………………………………………………

All House Republicans from Michigan have to be on political alert since two incumbents lost their seats in November. Mr. McCotter saw his own margin of victory shrink noticeably despite being opposed by a weakly financed Democratic challenger.

Bill Ballenger, the editor of Inside Michigan Politics, says Mr. McCotter is the most likely new target for Democrats among House members in the state. But Mr. Ballenger is skeptical that Mr. McCotter’s vote against the stimulus will be much of a political liability, particularly if the economy does not improve. “They may look like heroes a year from now,” he said.

Democrats evidently believe otherwise, given their new assault against Mr. McCotter and the 11 House members from eight other states, including California, Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania. Besides the automated phone calls, the Democratic Party on Tuesday will begin sending e-mail and text messages to voters and initiating personal phone calls to lay out the case for the stimulus package……………….

Yet Mr. McCotter said he would now try to see that the money is properly spent. (The McGlynn: “God, I hope not! Go visit your compatriots in the South!”)

“We will try to do everything we can to squeeze every ounce of help out of what was passed,” he said. “We have to make the best of a bad situation.” (The McGlynn; “Please make the best of a bad situation for the Michigan folks and get the hell out of the way!”)

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